Nelson nets last-gasp winner as Arsenal complete stunning comeback


eiss Nelson scored a 97th-minute winner as Arsenal came from two goals down to beat Bournemouth 3-2 in a remarkable encounter at Emirates Stadium.

The Cherries found themselves ahead after nine seconds as Philip Billing scored the second-fastest goal in Premier League history, before Marcos Senesi doubled the advantage after the wreck to leave the home fans stunned. Arsenal were on the brink of just their second hoem defeat in the Premier League this season.

But Thomas Partey pulled one back with a volley from close-range, before Ben White got his first goal for the club after getting on the conclude of Nelson’s cross. The winger then took centre-stage himself deep into stoppage-time to spark wild scenes of celebrations as the Gunners remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Arsenal made three changes to the side that beat Everton in midweek, with Fabio Vieira and Thomas Partey coming into the midfield and Takehiro Tomiyasu getting the nod over Ben White at factual-back.

The pre-match music had barely stopped by the time Billing found himself free in the box and finished past Aaron Ramsdale in a remarkable start to the match. Straight from kick-off the visitors worked it wide, a low cross came in and Billing did the rest.

From that point on Arsenal were largely dominant, though the visitors still offered a threat on the wreck and Aaron Ramsdale brilliantly saved from Dango Ouattara. The Gunners managed 14 shots and had nine corners in the opening 45 minutes, but Bournemouth sat back and frustrated the hosts.

Martin Odegaard had a couple of efforts saved, while Bukayo Saka was also denied from close range. An injury to Leandro Trossard, replaced with just over 20 minutes played by Emile Smith Rowe, did diminutive to lift the mood.

The shock in north London only grew after the wreck, when Senesi doubled the lead. It came in alarmingly simple fashion from an Arsenal perspective, with the Bournemouth centre-back able to head home from a corner under no real pressure.

Then the Arsenal charge came. From yet another Arsenal corner, Smith Rowe headed the ball back into the six-yard box and Partey was there at the back post to volley home.

That was just after the hour trace, and eight minutes later the Gunners were level. With pretty much his first touch after coming on, Reiss Nelson fired the ball across the face of goal and White’s strike just about crossed the line, the Gunners needing the assist of the referee’s watch for the goal to be given.

It was almost a constant stream of handball appeals and VAR reviews in the closing stages, as Arsenal piled on the pressure and Bournemouth desperately tried to cling on for a point. They were seconds away from doing just that, but Arsenal’s 30th and final shot of the afternoon, a wonderful left-footed strike from Nelson, arrowed into the far corner from the edge of the box.